Nicola Ashbrook

Mummy’s sad. I can tell. She used to sparkle like bubbles in lemonade – the pink kind – but now she looks grey. I think she’s stopped asking the hairdresser to put the golden bits in and she’s stopped wearing pretty dresses, too. She has grey clothes, grey hair and grey skin.

Daddy doesn’t look happy either. He stays at work a lot. When he is home, I see him in the garden, staring at the air.

I need to cheer them up again. I know I can, I did it before, but it’s harder now.

My grandpa told me once that in the olden days, a very long time ago, if you loved somebody, you gave them a ‘love-drury’ to show them. He said it was a present – anything that meant something. I want to send a love-present to Mummy and Daddy but I keep trying and I don’t think I’ve sent the right one yet because they’re still sad.

I sent daffodils in the spring and snow in winter. I made sure it was the fluffy kind that sticks well, but they didn’t make any snowballs at all. They didn’t pick the daffodils either. I’ve sent rainbows and shooting stars and an owl to TWOO in a tree and a friendly cat with a patch eye and sock feet. But they’re still sad.

I’ve been thinking really hard, like Mrs. Piper always told me to do if a sum had big numbers, and I think I’ve got the right answer now. I’m sending it tonight.


Mummy is wearing a pink dress today. It has a ruffle at the bottom which swishes when she walks. She looks very pretty. Daddy isn’t at work. He’s walking with her and holding her hand like he used to.

They’ve been to feed the ducks in our favourite place. A dog jumped in near Daddy and splashed him. He was hopping about and Mummy was laughing and laughing, then Daddy laughed, too. Their laughs are my very best thing. And Mummy’s sparkles; I collect those.

Mummy’s tummy is big now. She keeps one hand on it all the time and Daddy likes to rub it, too.

Mrs. Piper was right – if you think hard enough, you can get the right answer.

I can’t wait to see my love-drury – my sister – she’s going to be beautiful.

Nicola Ashbrook